Alcohol Addiction & Recovery: Scientists Are Working On Curing Alcoholism With Drugs

January 09, 2019
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Right now there is no cure for alcoholism, and there are no miracle drugs on the horizon. But nowadays, more and more medications are being developed and studied in order to find new pharmaceutical options against alcoholism.

So while these medications are being developed, addiction treatment facilities and plain old abstinence are by far the most realistic solutions to the effects of alcohol use disorder.

Alcoholism is still a global problem that has left no country unaffected. This epidemic has a massive economic impact of around a quarter of a trillion dollars in the United States alone. One part of the problem is the accessibility of alcoholic drinks—and ironically, how inaccessible most alcohol treatment medications are.

So while medications and cures are being researched and developed, there is no denying the fact that there is a bigger issue involved here, and a bigger solution is required. Solving individual cases of alcoholism is similar to treating the symptoms, but not the disease. It is clear that alcohol use disorder needs to be managed on a wider scale, while also optimizing the treatment process on the individual level.

Current Solutions Available to Alcoholics, are to seek medical detox and rehab. Most people have heard about rehab programs, Alcoholics Anonymous, the Twelve Steps, etc. These are very helpful treatment programs that go for the root cause of alcoholism: the addictive behavior. The best programs incorporate medical detox with behavioral therapy in order to cure the patient physically and mentally. While the body adjusts to the reduced presence of alcohol within the system, the mind learns to cope with being sober.

Behavioral treatments are there to teach the patient how to cope with living a sober life; how to handle problems without relying on self-destructive solutions.

As for the medical detox aspect of treatment, there are currently three FDA-approved drugs for fighting alcoholism. These are not considered cures, but they certainly help keep cravings at bay and withdrawal symptoms under control.

Disulfiram, Naltrexone, and Acamprosate are currently being used as part of addiction treatment programs for people with alcohol use disorder or alcoholism.

Disulfiram was first approved by the FDA in 1951. It works by producing immediate and severe negative reactions to alcohol intake. However, it does not reduce cravings. Naltrexone was approved in 1994, and works by reducing relapse to heavy drinking. It suppresses the euphoric sensations created by alcohol. Acamprosate is relatively new, at least compared to the other medications approved by the FDA. It was approved in 2004, and it is used for the maintenance of abstinence from alcohol in detoxified alcohol-dependent patients.

New Pharmaceutical Options Being Explored daily. New medications are being developed and used all over the world to combat alcohol addiction. This is despite the fact that using drugs to treat alcoholism is actually quite uncommon. Fewer than 10 percent of afflicted Americans receive pharmacological treatment for alcohol use disorder.

Baclofen, a muscle relaxant, was recently approved by French health authorities for the treatment of alcoholism. It is a medication that is presently used to treat muscle spasms. However, there are critics questioning the efficacy of baclofen, stating their concerns about potential side effects.

Ibudilast is an anti-inflammatory drug is primarily used by asthmatics in Japan and is showing promise when it comes to getting rats to stop drinking. This medication may soon be developed further in order to help treat people with alcohol use disorder.

A study has already been conducted to see if the drug is suitable for human alcoholics, and while the results are also promising, it should be noted that future studies are still needed.

A future cure for alcoholism may be far away, but there is hope. Right now, a proper treatment program is still an alcoholic’s best bet when it comes to getting sober again.

If someone in the family is addicted to alcohol or other substances, look for an addiction treatment facility nearby and learn more about drug rehab programs. Get started today at

SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]

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